What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a communication problem.  Aphasia can result from a stroke or injury affecting the language areas of the brain.  Aphasia is a problem with language.  It is not a problem of thinking or intellect.  It is not the same as dementia. It is important to understand that people with aphasia know more than they can say.

Aphasia affects everyone differently.  There are several different types of aphasia.  Aphasia can vary in severity, from very mild to very severe.  One person may be able to speak with just a bit of hesitation, while another may be unable to say anything at all.  One person may be able to read and to write short sentences, while another may be unable to write his name.

Aphasia can affect all aspects of language use, including:

  • understanding what others say

  • talking

  • reading (silently, and understanding what was read)

  • reading aloud

  • repeating words

  • writing and spelling (whether writing by hand or typing on a keyboard)

  • using proper grammar to combine words into sentences (whether speaking or writing)

  • using numbers (e.g. counting, reciting phone numbers, doing math)

  • using hand gestures or pantomime

The following are common characteristics of aphasia, but often come as a surprise to families:

  • A person with aphasia may still be able to sing a familiar song

  • A person with aphasia may swear, and not realize it

  • A person with aphasia may be unable to say the names of familiar people (e.g. spouse, children).  The person still recognizes familiar people, but the language problem makes it difficult for the person with aphasia to say their names.

  • Justas a person with a weak leg won't have much endurance for walking, a person with aphasia may not have much endurance for conversation. He or she will need frequent breaks from trying to listen or talk.  Especially in the early stages, keep your conversations short.




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ARTC has moved

Weekly ARTC Caregiver Group Meetings - Monday mornings..

Caregivers were recognized through the Heroes in the Home  awards on May 5, 2014.

ARTC satellite program at the Willett in Paris is now offered Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Stroke Recovery Group Meetings:
2nd Tuesday of each month. 1:30 - 3:30 pm at ARTCCall ARTC to register at
519 753 1882

Caregiver Support Meetings:  Third Thursday of every month at ARTC from 6:30 - 8:00 pm.